A major awarding organisation has handed over responsibility for two of its T Levels to a competitor.
In a sector first, NCFE and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) have “jointly agreed” that the licences to develop and award both the craft and design, and the media, broadcast and production T Levels will transfer to Pearson.
Both T Levels are set to begin delivery in September 2024.
IfATE said this was to give NCFE “greater capacity to focus on its existing T Level portfolio”.
The change means that Pearson takes over from NCFE as the awarding organisation in control of the most T Levels – eight and seven respectively.
The transfer to a new awarding organisation follows the decision by education secretary Gillian Keegan to postpone the delivery date of several NCFE T Levels, including the craft and media qualification, from September 2023 to September 2024.
Keegan said at the time that there was “more work for awarding organisations to do before IfATE and Ofqual can be clear that these T Levels are capable of meeting the high-quality bar required by both organisations to enable them to be taken into delivery, and that will not be possible in time for launch this September”.
The hair, beauty and aesthetics T Level, which was also delayed to 2024, is currently still with NCFE. However, this week’s announcement suggested a further update on the “future delivery” of the qualification will be made in the coming months.
NCFE was subject to multiple investigations by regulators last year following an outcry from students who received lower than expected grades in their health and science T Level.
The issues meant NCFE had to regrade students after an Ofqual review determined that the 2022 core assessment papers “do not secure a sufficiently valid or reliable measure of student performance”. The Ofqual review found “question errors, inadequate mark schemes and questions covering areas not explicitly in the specification”.
In an interview with FE Week following the investigations, NCFE chief executive David Gallagher said “lessons had been learned” and explained how the organisation itself had questions about the outline common core science content, which is designed by the IfATE’s route panel, from as early as January 2020.
NCFE was unable to comment.
Adding to Pearson’s growing list of T Level licences is the T Level in marketing, it was also announced this week. The qualification is set to be delivered from September 2025.